James Joyce Ramble 10k – Eli Queen

Race: James Joyce Ramble/USATF Masters 10k Championships

Runner: Eli Queen

Race Date: 04/30/2023

Location: Dedham, MA

Results: Chip time: 37:35. Gun time: 37:38. 6th M4549.

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/8985148633

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  • Part USATF National Masters Championship series
  • Separate championship start
  • Championship competitors are given age/gender back bibs (so you know who you’re racing)

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

Being James Joyce themed, there are people in costume reading from his works throughout the course.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

Went out boldly in the first 3 miles … gave myself a shot at a great day. The 4th mile was tough. Steep punchy hills. Constant up and down. Stopped paying attention to the watch, and just tried to keep pushing in that section. I made a real mental effort not to let that mile be the “story” of my race. With the wind and the hills in my legs, the last 2 mi were hard. Happy with how I responded. Competed well, and reengaged with the race. Kicked it in at the end.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The fourth mile, on the Noble and Greenough School campus, is hard. Lots of turns, and 90ft of elevation gain and loss in non-stop quick ups and downs. It will knock you off your rhythm, but know that the course gets easier for the last 2 miles.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

It is a pretty course. Much of it is on rolling tree-lined streets.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

The event was very well organized. This was the 38th running, and the 9th consecutive year as the masters 10k championships (it’s possible that they have hosted the championships more times than that.) The race starts and ends at the Endicott Estate. It was was a wet/rainy day this year, but the post-race festivities on the lawn (food, live music) seemed like they would be great in better weather.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Yes, as a national age-group championship there were athletes representing USATF clubs from across the country. There is also a “Citizens Ramble” (open race) that starts 5 min after the masters. The fastest runners form that field get to chase down, and move through, the age-group competitors.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

The championship and open races start 5 min apart. There are also separate check-in locations for each race, so make sure you’re standing on the right line.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Standard. It’s a 10k, so even though there are ample water stations, you probably won’t need them unless it’s an unusually hot day.

Weather and typical race conditions

Spring in New England can be anything. This year it was rainy and in the 50’s. Next year … ?

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

The first and last 1+ mi of the course share the same roads, so it’s easy for spectators to catch both the beginning and end

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?